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Discussion Starter #1
Have a 1992 ZX11-C3 that belongs to a friend. It has been sitting undriven for about 5 years or slightly longer and going over it I was perplexed to find that the throttle appears to be stuck (only about 10 mm of play, upon trying to twist it). My immediate thought was perhaps the cables need lubrication, since I'm sure they haven't seen a drop of oil for at least 10 years or so. However, not having removed the tank yet to do a direct visual of the linkage/cable connection, etc., it occurred to me that perhaps the carbs may be jammed up jammed/seized/or otherwise responsible for the unresponsive throttle twist development

I will be removing the tank shortly, which should provide some sort of answer to this apparent problem, but any educated guesses from those experienced with ZX11 systems would be appreciated. My last Ninja was a (beautiful) 2000 ZX900R, so I'm not fully acquainted with an older 92 ZX11's componentry.

PS: Best guess rates a gen-u-wine hand crochetted bathtub. Thanks. 馃お
 

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Even old unlubed cables will generally still pull open the butterflies, though roughly.

My guess is something's blocking the mechanism at the carb bank or it's rusted.

Obviously don't force it as should be easily cleared up once you can get at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Appreciate the return, Bat-1. I had the same feeling (something blocking the cable action), although I've not much experience with lubing the cables on modern bikes. It's always tempting to try to manhandle (force) a stuck component, but 9 out of 10 times that's the path to disaster (usually leading to a broken fitting, etc.), as you correctly point out! Next step is getting the tank off. My viewing of the ZX11 Kawa 'Service manual Supplement' suggests to me that the only connections I need be concerned with in removing the tank (and air filter box) are the three small hoses at the rear of the tank, the fuel level sensor leads and the aft left side UPPER fuel pump hose. Manual says 'Do not disconnect the lower hose on that assembly', which presumably stays connected, as it fastens to the lower left bottom of the tank. I think I've got that straight. Any suggestions about removing the tank, other that the foregoing? Many thanks for your help on this. I'm always somewhat leery around volatile fuels and their containers. 馃槼
 

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These things tend to be easier than you think. I've taken off the gas tanks on probably 50 different bikes and always with some trepidation. Usually turns out to be no problem.

I have no experience with your exact bike. Had an '88 ZX10 and an 03 ZX9R. Can't recall the tanks giving me any problems on them.

There's a tendency to think of gasoline like nitro glycerine. It's really no that volatile. As long as you keep open flame away it's not going to spontaneously combust.

If it's any consolation on some high performance bikes (the Buell 1125r for one) the gas actually boils in the tank. First time I heard the gas bubbling away in there I thought I was seconds away from exploding. Turns out gas has a lower boiling point than water (lowered further by ethanol mixed in it) and that it's more or less normal.

My only advice would be knowing exactly where you're going to put the tank once it's off. I've pulled some off only to go 'oops' where am I putting this. Have since made a little cradle out of an old styrofoam cooler that works perfect. Yours should be easy since you don't have to worry about a plastic fuel pump sticking out of the bottom of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for that further assist, Bat-1. [Your handle ('Bat-1') reminds me of a very famous Vietnam callsign for LTCol Iceal Hambleton, whose EB-66 ECM bird was shot down (his callsign was 'Bat-21').] Interesting. Going to clean out the tank (flush only), since there may be some corrosion in it (hopefully not), then try a fresh tankload after clearing the throttle cable problem. Good advice to arrange a safe resting place for it after it's off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm. Well, tank's now off. It was, as you say, Bat-1, a relatively straightforward process. What turns out to be the REAL bee-yotch is getting the damn air cleaner (air box) off the carbs so that I can inspect the throttle cable linkages! According to the Kawa factory ZX11 supplement, there are 8 bolts securing that air-box to the carbs. But how the $#@$^&^$! does one access those bolts? They're INSIDE the aft air box assembly! As might be expected, the factory service supplement simply says 'remove air box', but offers no clue as to exactly how to do that, given the shroud-like effect of the airbox over the carb venturies, that precludes getting a screwdriver or wrench in there. ARRRRGH. Hopefully the Haynes or Clymer guides are a bit more helpful, per crissakes!

Your advice on setting up a 'cradle' for the removed fuel tank was sage! It certainly saved me a messy struggle with that assembly! Any further advice on that airbox removal problem? :unsure: Thanks.
 

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Every bike's a little different in this regard. Those that allow access from the top shouldn't be a problem. A photo would help.

It's usually a dozen or so hex bolts around the sides of the airbox, remove filter element, then usually throttle body chimneys on fuel injected bikes.

Some Triumph's have them actually underneath the airbox with narrow access channels requiring very long hex drivers to reach.

This may help (don't watch it with a hangover):

 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is definitely some help, Bat-1! Worries about dropping something into the Carb venturies hover in the back of my mind, of course. I'll watch that video later today and digest it (sans hangover, hee-hee). As I was disassembling all the components to get to this 'semi-bare' stage, I was somewhat impressed with how logically the maintenance procedures had been anticipated by Kawa engineers and the bike 'built' up proportionately (i.e. to make it more 'friendly' to work on); that impression came to a screeching halt when I considered this air box problem. Kawasaki Aircraft Co certainly had decades of experience with working out engineering challenges (wartime work, etc.), so I would presume they had a LARGE body of that experience to draw on when producing consumer motorcycles. Thanks!
Cheers, -K2
 

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The video is typical Youtube - 2 minutes of good information in a 10 minute box, but the author seems to tackle your same problem.

Duct tape and paper towels are your friend to cover any openings you don't want something dropped in. I'm at the point where I can't seem to assemble anything without dropping every bolt twice.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The video is typical Youtube - 2 minutes of good information in a 10 minute box, but the author seems to tackle your same problem.

Very true, too many YOUTUBE videos stumble and drag on needlessly, but at least that's something to go by. Thanks again for the assist!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is a sort of 'wrap-up' of this ZX1100-C3 carb air box removal matter. The airbox presenting so much difficulty has 7 rubber plugs on its aft side...four on top and three below (there is an additional bolt that poses only a simple 8mm rachet removal on extreme lower right side). Removing these reveals a short 8mm bolt directly below and about 6 inches away from the orifice plug...requiring some sort of tool to reach through the narrow half-inch plug opening and unbolt it. I spent a good while researching this on line and determined that what may be described as "an extra-long nut driver tool" may be used for this purpose, since it is small enough to fit through the orifice under each plug and long enough to reach the bolt's head. These tools can be found on-line, and I eventually found a set containing 6-8-10-12mm bolt head sizes, each on a long, slim handle. Just to be sure there were no problems, I ordered a set that were 'magnetic' (they hold the bolt after removal, so that it can be withdrawn w/o falling into a carb venturi stack) and that had a 'T-bar' top that is useful for applying counterclockwise torque to the bolt.

Apparently, Kawasaki repair & service agencies have this special tool on hand (or should) for use on the older ZX11 bikes (such as my 1992 model). The newer ZX11 bikes have a case upper-half that unscrews for removal, so it seems, making this whole process of removing the air collector box one heckuva lot SIMPLER!

Thus, another learning experience in 'how to render aid & comfort' to an older ZX11 that needs a bit of carb TLC bites the dust. Hopefully, if anyone has this kind of problem in future, encountering it for the first time (however unlikely that may be), they may stumble across this thread and find this information helpful. [Thanks again for your help, BAT-1.(y) ]
 

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Discussion Starter #13
But what caused the stuck throttle? Inquiring minds want to know.
Ah! That's remains to be seen. I haven't yet taken things any further for the moment...waiting for a couple of tools and some Kawa ZX11 parts to arrive before getting on with this matter. I WILL give you a report, however, as soon as it becomes clear what caused the throttle issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ah! That's remains to be seen. I haven't yet taken things any further for the moment...waiting for a couple of tools and some Kawa ZX11 parts to arrive before getting on with this matter. I WILL give you a report, however, as soon as it becomes clear what caused the throttle issue.
Finally! "Breaking News" as the media is so fond of saying. The source of this problem revealed! I managed to remove the troublesome airbox today, using a 1/4 inch rachet fitted with a small, thin wall 8mm socket at the end of a 6 inch extention. The bolts came out w/o inordinate problems and the carb orifices were finally exposed. A quick check of carb function revealed that the butterfly valves on (from driver's left) carbs # 2, 3, and 4 all operated normally, but that the butterfly valve on carb #1 (driver's left side) was severely fowled in a closed position due to a thin strip of of very viscous sludge that had accumuated all along the edge (and likely also in the pivot dowel they move on) of the valve. It had the appearance of dark, black guck of some sort...almost rubber-like in consistancy, but very likely just congealed, fowled fuel that had become semi-solidified. The obvious solution will be to remove the carb bank and have all four of the carbs professionally cleaned & perhaps rebuilt at a business that specialises in this sort of thing. I had been hoping that 5 years of sitting in-operative would NOT result in this sort of extereme petro-resinous fowling, but there you have it: no machine, especially one that uses carburetors, likes to be neglected for that length of time unless the usual long-term storage-steps are undertaken (they weren't here, needless to say).

Thus the story ends here for the moment, pending further 'restorative' work on getting the old gal back on her feet!
 

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Finally! "Breaking News" as the media is so fond of saying. The source of this problem revealed! I managed to remove the troublesome airbox today, using a 1/4 inch rachet fitted with a small, thin wall 8mm socket at the end of a 6 inch extention. The bolts came out w/o inordinate problems and the carb orifices were finally exposed. A quick check of carb function revealed that the butterfly valves on (from driver's left) carbs # 2, 3, and 4 all operated normally, but that the butterfly valve on carb #1 (driver's left side) was severely fowled in a closed position due to a thin strip of of very viscous sludge that had accumuated all along the edge (and likely also in the pivot dowel they move on) of the valve. It had the appearance of dark, black guck of some sort...almost rubber-like in consistancy, but very likely just congealed, fowled fuel that had become semi-solidified. The obvious solution will be to remove the carb bank and have all four of the carbs professionally cleaned & perhaps rebuilt at a business that specialises in this sort of thing. I had been hoping that 5 years of sitting in-operative would NOT result in this sort of extereme petro-resinous fowling, but there you have it: no machine, especially one that uses carburetors, likes to be neglected for that length of time unless the usual long-term storage-steps are undertaken (they weren't here, needless to say).
Hah! So I thought! One last (important) development to report. Had my neighbor, who is a BMW MC enthusiast and shade-tree mechanic, take a look at the problem carb and together we pondered further on this matter. He asked to see the old air filter, so I produced it for him and he examined it. The face of this stock ZX11 filter that fronts the carburetors was made of a black open-cell sponge foam and it was severely deteriorated! Almost crumbly in its progressive breakdown of that black sponge foam! It didn't take a second to determine, based on that, that the black sticky substance that was jamming the #1 carb's venturi butterfly valve was bits of that black sponge that had migrated into the carb's venturi (and had partly congealed around the edge of that butterfly valve). Ergo: he prescribed some B-12 Auto Products carb cleaner, which after spraying it into the venturi trumpet (and on the butterfly valve), dissolved rather nicely, allowing the once totally stuck throttle to move relatively freely once again! Amazing what a little logical deduction, Sherlock-style, and two separate brains can determine! Elementary, my dear Watsons!

Looks as if the interior of the valve manifold on the engine side of that #1 carb is OK...no crap or debris noted! So, now I can put the whole shebang back together, fill the tank w/fresh fuel and try cranking it over! HOPEFULLY, all is well, with...as we used to say in the military...green lights across the board!

[As a further note, the previous owner of the bike told me that he had thought that filter was a permanent one, rather than a replaceable unit, so it was fully as old as the bike itself! He had never replaced it! At this point I'm ready for a trip to the local Irish pub for a pint or two of Guinness, I can assure you! [Stay tuned for further adventures with 'MAKO', the 1992 Kawasaki ZX1100-C3!]
 

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As its sat for a number of years, it would b advantageous to clean/lube the throttle tube and pivot areas and remove any rust that may have accumulated on the bar underneath. I prefer fogging oil to help seal the raw metal after. We have quite a few derelicts come thru the shop in the winter w similar problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As its sat for a number of years, it would b advantageous to clean/lube the throttle tube and pivot areas and remove any rust that may have accumulated on the bar underneath. I prefer fogging oil to help seal the raw metal after. We have quite a few derelicts come thru the shop in the winter w similar problems.
Thanks for that suggestion, Crash. All excellent ideas, as long as I've gone to all the trouble of getting down to the problem area (airbox removals, at al). I still have to chuckle (albeit somewhat ruefully) that the previous owner thought that long-gone air filter that has caused all the difficulty was 'permanent'! 馃槰

[As an aside: I've noted, throughout recent years, that far too many boy-racer types who are new to motorcycling (but who have bought powerful, modern bikes, perhaps motivated and overly awed by the raw, impressive macho power they offer) often fail to take much interest in the vital 'other half' of our mutual passion: maintenance and servicing responsibilities. Locally, we get a lot of these 'late-night' street and highway racers (I'm near a major Interstate) winding their new bikes out to not-very-prudent redline (and well beyond, I expect) limits, since the local highway patrol units are suffering manpower deficits and are stretched too thin to deal with anything less than major roadway incidents (i.e. collisions, road-rage shootings, et al...this IS crazy Californica, after all! 馃お). Further, as a LEO friend recently told me, the CHP have largely given up trying to chase these dorks, since a fast bike, driven by a hopped-up kid, can almost always shake off a pursuit car on the freeway (due to CHP concerns over safety issues involving other freeway users) at night. Although my ZX11's previous owner wasn't one of these puerile types, and despite his aircraft A/P work, he was surprisingly cavalier about his own steed! Go figure, eh?]
 
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